How To Clean White Mesh Shoes So They Look Like New

Don’t white mesh shoes look amazing when you try them on in the store? Unfortunately, it seems like they get stained the moment you wear them out of the house.

Lightweight mesh sneakers are both trendy and functional. Mesh is breathable and keeps your foot cool. Plus, the material makes you feel like you’re wearing a sock. Aesthetically, white mesh is crisp and clean. That is, until you actually use them. If you’ve ever wondered how to clean white mesh shoes, you’re in luck.

how to clean white mesh shoes

This tutorial gives you the exact steps to make your footwear look new again. Because white mesh shoes are more absorbent than leather, they can be tougher to clean. Plus, you’re not supposed to put running shoes in the dryer. So what are you supposed to do to remove scuffs and eliminate odors?

Follow the steps below to make your white mesh shoes look good without limiting their lifespan.

Read also:

How to get blood out of white shoes

How to get sharpie off white shoes


Clean Them While They’re Dry

If your sneakers have picked up dirt and dust while on the road or the trail, you can try cleaning them without wetting them. This technique won’t work for liquid stains, such as ketchup or coffee, but it might freshen them up quickly between uses if they have just picked up some environmental residue.

  1. Use a soft toothbrush.
  2. Gently brush at the areas that appear stained.
  3. Finish the session by lightly brushing the entire sneaker.

You don’t want to scrub so hard that you make the material fray. Therefore, use a soft brush and a gentle touch. You should take this step to remove loose dirt particles before washing your shoes with anything else.

This video shows how gently you should scrub the shoes with the brush.

The Bucket Method

If you have more stubborn stains on your sneakers, you can try submerging your white mesh shoes in a bucket full of soapy water.

  1. Remove the laces.
  2. Remove the insoles if they come out.
  3. Mix a small amount of laundry detergent and oxygen bleach with warm water in a bucket or sink.
  4. Submerge the shoes in the water, swishing them around.
  5. Let the shoes soak for five minutes.
  6. Use a soft brush to gently scrub at the dirt that has loosened during the soaking.
  7. Rinse the shoes under cold water until all of the soap comes out.

Dish Soap Can Do The Trick

Dish soap is designed to cut through grease and grime. Therefore, it might work well for removing stains from white mesh shoes.

  1. Make a paste using a few drops of dish soap and a few tablespoons of water.
  2. Swirl the paste around until it’s foamy and no color residue from the soap remains.
  3. Dip a toothbrush into the paste.
  4. Scrub the shoe gently with the soapy brush.
  5. Rinse with cold water.

How To Use Vinegar To Clean White Mesh Shoes

According to the Spruce, vinegar is an effective natural alternative to harsh cleaning solutions for removing stains. For this method, you’ll need distilled white vinegar, a spray bottle and a soft brush.

  1. Saturate the stain by spraying it with vinegar.
  2. Scrub gently using the brush.
  3. Leave it in the sun for an hour or two.
  4. If the stain doesn’t come out with this method, you can add baking soda to the mix using the following steps:
  5. Spray the shoe with vinegar again.
  6. While the vinegar is wet, sprinkle baking soda onto it.
  7. Scrub the stain using a soft brush.
  8. Rinse with cold water.

The Shaving Cream Method

You can use shaving cream to get rid of greasy stains. The key is to make sure that you use the white foam kind. Gels won’t work. Also, ensure that the shaving green doesn’t have a colored tint to it, or it may stain your shoes.

To use this method, follow the steps below:

  1. Dab a small amount of white foam shaving cream onto the stain.
  2. Gently rub the shaving cream into the sneaker using a washcloth or soft brush.
  3. Wait 30 minutes.
  4. Scrub the stain gently with a wet washcloth or toothbrush.
  5. If the stain doesn’t come out, let it sit with the shaving cream on it overnight.
  6. Scrub and rinse the area with a wet washcloth or toothbrush again.

Sneaker Cleaner

Some companies make sneaker cleaner that’s designed for use on white mesh sneakers.

Reshoevn8r is one such product. Pair it with a soft bristle brush, and let the brush do the work. This product can even be used on the soles of the shoes.

Watch this video to see how well this works.


Using Bleach On Your White Mesh Sneakers

You can use bleach to wash your white mesh shoes in the washing machine, but there’s not a lot of science to back it up. In fact, bleach can damage the delicate fabric.

If you have a stubborn stain that won’t come out using the other methods that we’ve listed here, you can try using bleach at your own risk.

  1. Use ¼ cup of bleach and a small washer cycle.
  2. Try adding a few towels to the load.
  3. Ignore the noise that results from your shoes banging around in the washer.

How To Dry Your White Mesh Shoes

No matter how you wash your shoes, you don’t want to dry them in the electric dryer. Follow the instructions below for drying your sneakers:

cleaning and drying mesh shoes

  1. Stuff them with dry paper towels. (Some experts recommend using newspaper, but this can leave ink smears on your shoes).
  2. Air dry the sneakers overnight.
  3. Pull out the towels and allow the sneakers to dry completely.

Drying your shoes in bright sunlight can eliminate the bacteria that cause odors. The Sunlight Institute says that the sun is the best sanitizer available. Even if you haven’t just washed your shoes, you could try leaving them out in the sun to prevent them from getting stinky. The sunlight just might bleach those tough stains, too, leaving your shoes bright and fresh-looking.

Cleaning The Soles

Don’t forget to clean the exterior of the soles of your white mesh shoes. If you don’t, you might end up transferring the dirt from that area to the fabric. Also, the dirt on the sole will be more noticeable when the rest of the shoe is clean.

You can scrub the sole with soapy water and a brush with firmer bristles than the brush that you’ve been using on the upper. If stains are stubborn, wipe them with a magic eraser and water.

What Method Should You Use To Clean Your White Mesh Sneakers?

It’s best to start with the most gentle technique and work up to the more in-depth options when you’re cleaning your mesh sneakers. Dry brushing and spot cleaning are preferable to using bleach.

However, you can try using stronger chemicals if your shoes have stains that really bother you. You might want to do a spot test when you’re using a new cleaner on your shoes just to make sure that it doesn’t damage or discolor them.

Next time you buy new shoes (or once you have gotten your old ones back to their original splendor), you might want to protect them using a product such as Scotchguard.

Have you tried any of these methods for how to clean your white mesh sneakers? If so, don’t forget to snap a before and after picture, and let us know what worked for you.


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